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Strategic Plan

Researcher at Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

ClemsonForward is built on four key foundations: Research, Engagement, the Academic Core and Living, which spells the acronym REAL. Specific goals and tactics will guide each of those four areas.


ClemsonForward sets a new bar for research funding and scholarly work. Clemson’s goal is to continuously improve its research quality, quantity and impact; to foster a rich, curiosity-driven intellectual environment; to solve real problems; and to create more opportunities for graduates and alumni. This includes continuing unique public/private partnerships driven by the University’s Innovation Campuses, building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and focusing on six strategic innovation areas — advanced materials; cyberinfrastructure and big data science; energy, transportation and advanced manufacturing; human resilience; health innovation; and the sustainable environment.


Engagement was a cornerstone of the 2020 Road Map and is at the heart of the land-grant mission. ClemsonForward capitalizes on existing strengths and opportunities to emphasize high-impact, evidence-based academic and global engagement. It also emphasizes rigorous assessment so that we are better able to understand and measure the links between these engagement experiences and student learning and success.

Academic Core

We will create an optimal path for academic programs — both undergraduate and graduate — to achieve national prominence. ClemsonForward enhances the undergraduate academic core with initiatives in interdisciplinary curricula, a new approach to general education, and enhanced advising. ClemsonForward also extends the focus on quality to the arena of graduate education and contains a greater commitment to graduate education and the graduate student experience at both the main campus and the innovation campuses.


ClemsonForward will strengthen the cherished sense of community and connectedness that defines the Clemson Family by creating an environment that is diverse, respectful and inclusive, further enhancing the quality of student life and developing policies, facilities and support systems that will make Clemson a great place to work, study and live.

Key Enablers

Together these pieces will support the real impact, real experience, real intellect, and real family that make up the heart of today’s Clemson. The research, engagement, academic and living goals of ClemsonForward plan rest on four critical enablers:

  • Strategic Revenue Growth — Manage enrollment, entrepreneurial activities, development priorities, operational efficiencies and revenue allocation to support ClemsonForward initiatives.
  • College reorganization —Enhance the learning and working environment in the seven academic colleges.
  • Building Futures — Build state-of-the-art new facilities, renovate aging structures and create multi-function spaces that provide a vibrant academic environment.
  • Focus and Accountability — Prudently manage existing resources. Concentrate metrics on measuring impact rather than activity.
Strategic Plan
ClemsonForward Plan